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Rowing against the wind: how do times of austerity shape academic entrepreneurship in unfriendly environments?

Elies Seguí-Mas (), Víctor Oltra (), Guillermina Tormo-Carbó () and Faustino Sarrión-Viñes ()
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Elies Seguí-Mas: Universitat Politècnica de València
Víctor Oltra: University of Valencia
Guillermina Tormo-Carbó: Universitat Politècnica de València
Faustino Sarrión-Viñes: Universitat Politècnica de València

International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 2018, vol. 14, issue 3, No 14, 725-766

Abstract: Abstract Academic spin-offs (ASOs) help universities transfer knowledge or technology through business projects developed by academic staff. This investigation aims at analyzing the critical factors for spin-off creation at universities operating in crisis-raven, entrepreneurship-unfriendly environments. Such factors revolve around four types of resources: environmental, institutional, organizational, and personal. Focusing on a Southern European context, as an example of an unfriendly environment affected by economic crisis, an entrepreneurial university (the Technical University of Valencia in Spain, UPV) is our research setting. Through a case study approach, we examine the potential of UPV as a springboard for ASOs. Our results show an adverse local environment, a rather favorable influence of institutional and organizational drivers, and a mixed role of personal factors. Our findings illustrate that UPV consistently supports spin-off creation due to a greater (rather positive) reflexivity from its institutional, organizational and personal resources than the (negative) imprinting of the unfriendly environment. This helps counter-balance the structural unfriendliness for academic entrepreneurship, and trigger a crisis-led risk-taking attitude by academic staff. Hence, UPV should continue with its current strategy of supporting academic entrepreneurship, and might transfer best practices to other universities also affected by unfavorable environmental conditions. Generally speaking, we would advise universities facing adverse circumstances to develop rules and mechanisms for academic entrepreneurship, carefully revise and improve malfunctions, and become involved throughout the whole process of spin-off development. All in all, our study advances understanding of how the different drivers for ASO creation can be revamped by universities located in unfriendly environments, having in mind the key role that universities play in fostering social and economic development through academic entrepreneurship in such environments.

Keywords: Academic entrepreneurship, Academic spin-off creation factors, Times of austerity; Unfriendly environments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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